National Catholic Register

Commentary

10 Reasons to Believe in the Resurrection

BY John Lilly

April 8-14, 2007 Issue | Posted 4/3/07 at 9:00 AM

 
1. Testimony of the texts. Scripture, Tradition and the Church thereafter all agree that Christ rose.

2. Testimony of the Twelve. Cowardly apostles fleeing became courageous Christians preaching, and they unanimously said it was because they saw Christ alive.

3. Transformation of Saul. St. Paul went from persecutor to believer after seeing Christ alive.

4. No early Church debate. The early Church debated many fundamental things, but not the Resurrection.

5. Centuries of martyrs. Christians, from the Church’s first days to our own day, have been willing to die for their conviction that Christ rose from the dead.

6. Diverse sources. Gospel writers included different details, and material from different sources — all of which agreed on the fact of the Resurrection.

7. Eyewitnesses. St. Paul spoke of how Christ appeared, alive, to 500 at once — and he was writing not long after the event occurred.

8. Non-Christian historical accounts. Tacitus and Josephus mention Christ — and describe how Christians endured torture when simply renouncing him would end it.

9. Not dead again. Other resurrections are mentioned in the Bible — chiefly Lazarus — but of these Christ’s is unique in that it is never suggested that he died again.

10. Rise of a historical religion. Christianity spread and grew even though, as St. Paul told Christians from the beginning, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain.”